Born Rosina Hofer, near Bern in Biglen, she trained as a teacher and taught in Steffisburg and Thun in the latter part of the 19th century. When her first husband died, she married Catholic priest, Paulin Gschwind.
She eventually became interested in household management and nutrition, lecturing on the latter. In 1888, she co-founded two schools of domestic management, in Buchs and Lenzburg, and became an examiner as well.
In 1892, the first edition of her wonderful recipe book 550 Rezepte von Frau Pfarrer Gschwind was published. In it she lays out numerous recipes, plus methodology. The Christkatholische Kirche der Schweiz recently republished her book, and it was available to order (though now I think they are sold out and you can only find it second hand).
The reprint is great not only because the recipes are now in a readable font (as opposed to the traditional font found in most old cookbooks) and there are editorial notes, but because there are little slips of paper throughout the book—copies of some of Gschwind’s handwritten recipes and receipts (see photo above).
For me, her most memorable line is in her recipe for the Christmas classic, Zimtsterne, where she suggests beating the egg whites and sugar for a full hour. That’s dedication.